I begin my journey through the years with my first memories in a time that seems to have “never been”…

I would rise early and with great haste get into my bib overalls and brown sandals, grab the salt shaker and slip out the back door. The awesome fragrances of our yard are still etched in my memory some 70+ years later.

I would spread the wire fence wide enough to climb through to get into the garden. Then seeing the perfect tomato to have for breakfast, I’d clean off the dirt, and sink my teeth into it to hold the salt.

Aunts Muddy and Florence Underwood would be in the garden weeding. Their garden attire was always sleeved slip-on aprons, slat bonnets and knee high goulashes.

As I drew nearer, the chickens heard me and they began their “chatter” as they knew food was on the way. I always asked first, though, if I should feed them. Either Muddy or Florence would caution, “Three scoops, Sheila.”

As I made my way to the coop, the chickens’ clucking and crowing was almost deafening. There was a huge wooden barrel with a recessed lid and big scoop near the coop. I placed the three scoops of feed into a small wooden bucket.

Armed with a strategy learned through trial and error, I quickly undid the coop latch and stepped inside. I then walked through the coop into the chicken’s fenced yard, scattering the feed into the four corners. As the birds literally flew to each spot, I made a hasty exit back into the coop to retrieve the eggs.

A memory, one of many, from ‘the good old days’. I am proud to say “Thank you, Bexley” for these gifts, which contributed to my firm foundation in life.

A Memory from Sheila Stropes Balzer
1953 Bexley High Graduate
She lived at 786 College Ave from 1935 until her marriage

Originally published in Historical Herald, October 2010

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